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How does sleep deprivation impact new parents?

How does sleep deprivation impact new parents?

It’s undeniable: sleep is essential to how we function. A good night’s rest can leave us feeling productive and revitalised. Lack of sleep and sleep deprivation, however, is something that happens to the best of us. Unsurprisingly, new parents are among those who suffer the most.

Our research highlights the struggle new parents face in getting enough sleep every night, with 70% of parents with babies under the age of 18 months reporting their quality of sleep has progressively worsened since caring for their newborn. But what’s keeping them awake?

Parents naturally worry about their kids, but it is proving to keep them up at night – nearly 2 in 5 parents (37%) are kept up worrying about their babies breathing properly with a further 52% worrying their baby will need a feed. The research also shows that 74% have poor quality of sleep as a result of their baby waking and crying in the night.

Without enough sleep, we can feel stressed, anxious and irritable. And of course, sleep deprivation can have a knock on effect on other aspects of our lives. As well as affecting relationships between partners for 59% of respondents, over one in six with children under 18 months have lost friendships due to not getting enough sleep. And these effects can move beyond personal relationships, with half of respondents advising they eat less home-cooked meals as a result of not sleeping enough.

How can new parents improve their sleep? Simple steps like avoiding media and electronics 30 minutes before bed, setting a regular bedtime and even taking naps throughout the day can all help alleviate the effects of sleep deprivation.

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